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The Story of My 10th Birthday Present

Romo here.  I want to tell you the story behind how I harnessed my passion for sports and how I learned to recognize the powerful tools of practice, repetition, and persistence.  It all began with a gift I received for my tenth birthday.

When I was growing up, we didn’t have a lot of extra money.  But for my tenth birthday, my mom and dad got me a full-sized basketball hoop that we could set up in our driveway - I was thrilled.  My dad went to the junkyard and found an old, rusty, 20 foot light post.  We bolted a hoop right onto that old light post and I added a fresh coat of white paint.  Since the light post was almost 20 feet tall, my older brother dug a ten-foot hole in the ground just so the hoop would be exactly 10 feet tall.  We secured the light post to the hoop, poured cement, and added outdoor lights.  Finally my court was complete.  From that day forward when I would watch the Boston Celtics play on TV, I’d run out to shoot hoops during every commercial break, pretending I was Larry Bird.

The more I practiced, the more hoops I made; it was my first positive feedback I got from sports.  Every time I would practice under my outdoor lights, I would make more and more shots.  The excitement fueled me for the next time I was going to go out and shoot more.  We didn’t have video games and those sorts of distractions when I was growing up, so night after night I would go out and shoot hoops, day or night, rain or shine, snow and ice.  It was a big deal for me to have a hoop, especially one with lights.  I loved the positive reinforcement of what I was doing.  I could see, hear, and feel the improvement.  Nothing was going to stop me from shooting hoops and stop the rush that athleticism gave me.  This is how I found my passion for sports and how I started to recognize how practice, repetition, and persistence paid off.  That’s how it started for me.  Out on the basketball court, shooting one basket after another. 

I want you to figure out what it is that really gets you going - your passion.  And then I want you to understand all the components of your passion and your success.  To do this you need to ask yourself a lotof questions about your fears, your goals, and your actions.  Basically, what are your excuses for not doing what it is you want to achieve?  Turn those excuses into opportunities to improve yourself. 

When you ask yourself those questions, when you fuel your body right, and when you really find your passion, nothing can stop you from being successful.

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One Response to “The Story of My 10th Birthday Present”

  1. rich santana said:

    hi Bill,
    you probably won’t remember me, but you and i did some improvements to your old red Ford pick up. i installed power steering, a steering column and i think disc brakes. also i fixed your seat so it would fit you. enough blah blah, it’s great to see you’ve made good, my son and i just finished ‘the longest yard’ and i figured i’d see what happened to you. we ended up moving up to Placerville, been here about 10 years, love it. i have lost contact with John Steed, wondered what ever happened to him as well, and i think..Amy? anyways, my son is on the Union Mine HS football team, plays center and guard, he has also really taken a liking to rugby, what a great off season sport. i’m still doing hot rod upholstery and have a great time cheering our kids on at what ever they do. my daughter is a sophmore in college, and she is currently in the Ms. California pageant program. anyways, hope you still have the truck, it was pretty clean. Rich

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